so long, 2013!

January, 2014

Dear Ones,

The past year has been one of challenges and new beginnings – but we are starting out 2014 happy and healthy and optimistic for the year ahead!

Rebecca started the year with a cross-country road trip (to drive friend Yana back home to New York) that included pit stops to check out various possibilities for grad school. Then, an unexpected opportunity took Rebecca (briefly) to St. Louis for some union-organizing work. But the real adventure began in May when Rebecca headed off to begin an intensive 12-month Masters in Education program at the prestigious Teachers College at Columbia University in New York. After spending the summer living near campus, the fall brought a move to a huge cooperative house in Brooklyn where Rebecca is thrilled to have the “penthouse” room. The fall also brought Rebecca’s first teaching placement in a middle school in Manhattan. After enjoying the holidays home with mom and dad (including an Xmas day hike in Griffith Park in spectacular weather!), Rebecca is headed back for her final semester, and a new and challenging teaching placement. By May, Rebecca should be on the job market looking for a job teaching grade school or high school social studies and history.

Elise’s year was more of the usual buzz of activity from ANMT, including teaching, concert readings, and the STAGES Festival of New Musicals (for which Elise directed two shows). At the annual GOT MUSICAL concert, Scott and Elise announced the New Musicals Initiative – an exciting new fund that should bring lots of opportunities for the future. One of the highlights of the ANMT season was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Scott and Elise beginning to work together! The year saw three trips to New York (for the NAMT committee meetings and festival) – but this time Elise got to room with Rebecca and take her to some Broadway shows for her birthday! Elise and Rebecca also got to squeeze in a trip to Carl Ritchie’s beautiful cottage on a lake in upstate New York.

Elise was also thrilled to have two cataract surgeries (Nov and Dec) that have given her rather astonishingly clear and COLORFUL vision for the first time in many years.

Stephen’s year was definitely a most challenging one. Most of you know the basics, so we won’t go into gory detail here – but after emergency abdominal surgery in May, Stephen found himself inexplicably with an inability to lift his left arm. Half a dozen doctors, three MRIs, various medications, months of physical therapy, and rotator cuff surgery later, he is still unable to lift the arm enough to play professionally. We don’t know what the prognosis for the future is – but we are remaining positive. Luckily, Stephen is still able to teach and coach, and is especially enjoying his new post with the Harmony Project – an after-school program that brings music lessons to underprivileged kids. He was also able to travel to Las Vegas for a Theatre Musician’s Association Conference; and is currently planning a possible summer season for the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.

We were very happy to spend time with our Toronto gang while Elise was in town directing a workshop of friend Leslie Arden’s musical MOLL; to take part in a Dewsberry family reunion for Canadian Thanksgiving and June and Art’s 60th wedding anniversary; and to celebrate “Thanksgivukah” with the Solomon/Sokoloff clan in Long Beach (pumpkin pie and latkes! yum!).

All in all, it has been a full and fulfilling year – and we consider ourselves blessed by having all of you in our lives.

Much love,

Elise, Stephen, and Rebecca

(Above) Stephen and Elise celebrating 31 years; (Right) Stephen and Rebecca taking tea at the Vintage Tea Leaf

Elise pretends to smoke a cigar in the annual GOT MUSICAL!

Above: Elise's birthday at Chado Tea Room; Left: Elise singing at friend Joshua's wedding

Elise and Scott unveil the logo for the New Musicals Initiative

Below: a short film of excerpts celebrating ten years of Scott and Elise!

Petitioning for Immigration Reform

Heading east with friend Yana - and the cat!

Accepted to Columbia Teacher's College Masters in Education program!

Rebecca's Brooklyn home

Rebecca's room on the very top floor

The Dewsberry Clan gathered for Canadian Thanksgiving

The view from Carl’s cottage in up-state New York